One of your biggest priorities as an entrepreneur and CEO is figuring out a way to reduce your company’s overhead so that your profit margins are larger. There are a lot of ways to do this. In this article, we’re going to focus on the eco-friendly upgrades and changes you can make to reduce company spending while also, hopefully, making your company more efficient.
If you are lucky enough to have your company’s base of operations in a state or province (we don’t want to forget our Northern neighbors) with a deregulated energy industry, save some money by shopping around for a better deal on your power. There are plenty of sites both here in the US and up north in Canada that have databases of an area’s different providers and the details of each provider’s plans. If you find a provider with better rates than your current one, make the switch!
If your company is based in a regulated market, don’t worry; there are still plenty of things that you can do to reduce your company’s energy consumption.
Save Some Trees
No office will ever be able to go 100% paperless. This is because the government still requires that you keep hard copies of certain contracts and forms on hand for a set number of years. Beyond those hard copies, though, you can do almost everything digitally now. Many offices are choosing to outfit their employees with tablets to make taking and sharing notes and messages easier than the printing and sending of memos and other copies. Going paperless (or as close as you can get to it) will save many acres of forest but it will also save you thousands of dollars on printing costs (both for printing supplies and machine maintenance).
Go Small or Go Home
More and more companies are choosing to allow their employees to telecommute at least part of the time. This can feel weird, especially if you are used to a traditional office environment. Still, it’s one of the best ways to reduce overhead and your company’s carbon footprint.
The more members of your team are allowed to work from home, the less office space you will need. Smaller offices are easier (and cheaper) to heat and cool, which reduces the amount of power they use. Telecommuters also burn less fossil fuel as their commute is only from where they sleep to the part of their homes in which they work.
It’s also worth noting that many employees are willing to accept a slightly lower wage in exchange for being able to work from home, so you will save on payroll costs as well as operating costs.
Beware Vampire Power
There are some machines in your office that will need to stay plugged in and operational 24/7. Your on-site servers, for example, always need to be powered on. So will your break room’s refrigerator. Almost every other machine, though, can and should be turned off at the end of the day or, even better, unplugged.
Nobody wants to have to walk through an office space to make sure that every employee has unplugged his or her computer, printer, etc. What you can do, though, is turn off power to certain parts of the building, like your office bullpen to ensure that everybody complies with the on-site policy.
Obviously, you do not want to be down in electrical, flipping breakers yourself. Instead, install a smart security system. These systems can read movement in a room and can be set up with timers to turn off lights and power in parts of a building (or even a home!) where power isn’t being used and then to turn the power back on when someone arrives. Think of it as motion sensing bathroom lights but on a larger scale.
…though motion sensing bathroom lights are another great way to save power and money at the office.
Sometimes meeting face to face with far flung clients and partners is necessary. A lot of the time, though, thanks to teleconferencing technology, it isn’t. Furthermore, the cost of air travel and hotel rooms is climbing every day. Cut back on the number of business trips you and your team are taking. Your carbon footprint will drop dramatically and so will your company’s overhead.
There are a lot of ways to make an office and work space more sustainable that will simultaneously save your company a lot of money. We’ve started with these because they are the easiest and cheapest to implement. Understand, though, that this is just the beginning. If you’re really dedicated to the cause, there is a great deal more that you can try.